2809 Tasting Notes

I’ve tried this tea twice now after it came in. I was really hoping to love this as I was crazy about the 2013 mao cha from Misty Peak and its lovely fruity flavor.

To me this seems more like a standard type of sheng. It has a light color with light smoke notes, a bit of floral, lemon and a bittersweet finish. I threw the first steep out and have been doing short infusions of it. It starts to mellow out a bit after steep #3, but I am just not getting plum or peach flavor from this at all, even after 7 steeps.

So I am a bit torn on how to give this a rating for now. It is definitely a nice, young sheng but I was hoping for something a little different, or a little more like the product description, anyway. It isn’t terribly aggressive but I also think it could benefit from a few years of aging.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

I kinda feel the same way. I’ve had it a couple of times and it was nice, but it didn’t have as much flavor as I was expecting. I haven’t reviewed it yet because I was trying to decide what I thought about it.


@Tealizzy – yeah it was pricey too in my opinion for something I don’t really love. Of course I know people pay a lot more money for shengs but generally I am not one of those people. ;)

Tea for Me Please - Nicole Martin

I find that I like longer brews with this one. I’ll do a really short rinse and then steep it in a gaiwan for about 30 seconds.


Thanks Nicole, I’ll try it. I was a bit worried about steeping it for that long because of the bitterness factor.

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This is such a lovely tea from Nepal. I definitely enjoy it hot, but thought I’d try cold brewing it last night and am drinking the results this morning. It’s really, really tasty! Tastes oakey, with sweet honey flavor and notes of tropical fruit. I still prefer it hot but it’s nice to know I can cold brew it too. :)

Iced 8 min or more

I like this tea a lot.

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drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
2809 tasting notes

Sample from Tao Tea Leaf this morning. It’s an enjoyable tea, I would say sweet and smooth really describes it. It’s definitely a bit on the lighter side when it comes to body and has a good cocoa flavor. Amazing no bitterness or astringency at all. I steeped this for 3 minutes and it’s still a bit on the light side, overall I think I prefer black teas with a bit more heft. This was tasty but probably won’t be a repurchase for me.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This is an interesting tea from Tao Tea Leaf, especially for me as I’ve never had a purple sheng before.

The package directions say to use boiling water and steep for 2-3 minutes. I was definitely skeptical about that but it turns out they were right. I did the first steep for 2 minutes, and the second steep for 3.

At first it doesn’t taste like much, just kind of woodsy. As I’ve been sipping on it I get some nice fruity notes, raspberry and cherry come to mind. I do get the bit of cocoa that TTL describes on their website but not vanilla or white wine. The flavor most closely resembles a wuyi oolong for me but is lacking the roasted flavor that wuyis have.

Soon I’ll have to try this using the gong fu method, but I kind of like it steeped Western style. It didn’t turn into a bitter mess like I was fearing it would. There is a slight bitterness but that compliments the raspberry notes well, I think. Bitterness seemed more prominent with the 3 minute steep so I’ll stick to 2 minutes or less with this one. Nice tea, I’m glad I got some!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec



very! :)


I agree completely, I was saying this tasted like a wuyi oolong and others were calling me crazy…. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

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I got some oolong samples at this shop in the Mission District of san Francisco.

The shop itself is really cute, the front part is a tea tasting room with teas and wares for sale and the back of the shop is a futon shop that carries other decorative Japanese items.

So about this tea, I used a gaiwan for my steepings and have gotten through 4 infusions so far. This is a roasted oolong which I wasn’t aware of when I bought it (my fault). It’s a fairly dark roast and I’m getting flavors similar to a Hojicha. Where hoji has a kind of bitter finish, this has a sweet finish. In fact, I would say the sweetish caramel finish is probably the best thing about this tea. I am getting some light fruity peach notes but overall it isn’t too impressive in my book. Will have to try this Western style soon to see if I like it better that way.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Bungalow by Steven Smith Teamaker
2809 tasting notes

I’ve had this one for way too long (over 2 years, I think), but it came in the individually sealed packages so I’m hoping it will be good for a while longer yet.

This is a mix of first and second flush leaves and brews to be quite a lovely brownish-red. The flavor is fairly woody with some nice, sweet fruit notes. I know the teamaker describes this as having buttery and floral notes but I don’t get these and don’t think I ever did! It’s a fairly decent cuppa though. Nice for sipping on in the afternoon.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Peach Brulée by Tea Forte
2809 tasting notes

I’m happy to find something in my Tea Forte sampler pack that is actually tasty. This is probably the best of the bunch.

The peach tastes fresh, delicious and not at all artificial. As others have noted there is also a bit of mango and coconut flavor in the tea. I drank mine with soymilk and that gave it a creamy element that boosted the dessert type flavor this one has. If you’re into fruit flavored teas, I would certainly consider giving this blend a whirl. I bet this would be really good as an iced tea also.

Flavors: Coconut, Mango, Peach

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Was rather curious about this one! Glad to see a good review of it for if I ever order!


It’s peachy ;)

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drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
2809 tasting notes

I’m back from a weekend in Big Sur with my BF. I wish I could have stayed at Esalen forever, it is such a beautiful place. The fog is kind of oppressive today in SF.

I am feeling sick this morning with allergies gone haywire, so I thought something green would be nice, and hopefully healthy. This tea is one I don’t have very often, I need to be in the mood for it somehow. It’s so buttery and creamy, I almost feel like I’m drinking liquid buttered corn. Milk oolongs do not tend to be the ultimate favorite for me but I do enjoy this one and hoping the antioxidants can calm down my immune system.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Muscat Oolong by Lupicia
2809 tasting notes

This came in the Lupicia grab bag I got over New Year’s. I’ve been avoiding trying this one because frankly I am not the biggest fan of muscat or grape flavored things in general.

Upon opening the bag I see what looks like a perfectly good Bao zhong oolong drenched in an overwhelmingly fake sweet grape aroma. The flavor is much the same. The muscat really overpowers the oolong and is sickeningly sweet, artificial and cloying.

Normally I’m a Lupicia fan but nope, this one is not for me. I will struggle to finish the cup I think. It is up for grabs/trade if any muscat fans are interested in it.

Flavors: Artificial, Muscatel

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Pure Bud… something about this doesn’t exactly sound like tea!

I decided to gong fu this beauty this morning. Normally I like to let my black teas steep Western style, for about 2 minutes or more. When you gong fu this for about 30 seconds, some very nice elegant flavors emerge. There is the sweet potato, molasses and brown sugary type of goodness.

2nd steep I did for 1 minute, and in addition to the sweet potato/sugary notes some bittersweet chocolate and malt are coming to the surface.

3rd steep at 2 minutes is around the same. This tea is nice plain but I also like it with some soymilk added, the creaminess of the soymilk makes the sweet potato notes kind of dessert like. I am also getting more fruity apricot in this steep.

I found this tea quite dee-licious! I don’t understand the negative reviews but if you have some of this you aren’t wanting, I will gladly take it off your hands. :)

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty


San Frandisco



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